Improving the (prospective) international student journey

Rita de Wilde with Arjan Burgers, Netherlands

Rita de Wilde, working at the University of Twente since 1997, is a Senior Marketer and the initiator of the customer journey/student journey project within the University of Twente. Working on several projects, she analyzed the student journey in 2015. Rita  came up with a set of improvements transcending over several support departments of the university and all 20 Bachelor and 33 Master programmes with a strong focus on international intake. From 2016 on this set of improvements lead to optimizing the student journey, monitoring and enriching these improvements with relevant data and the outcome of several customer feedback sessions.
Rita is in charge of the student journey project team.


Key lessons from a successful transformation programme focused on improving the student journey

In this session Arjan and Rita will draw on their experience at the University of Twente where, over the last eighteen months, they have implemented a transformation programme focused on improving the journey of prospective international students.

This programme involved organising student focus groups to listen to concerns and better understand where and how to improve the prospective student experience. It involved training staff of both central units (marketing and communications, student services) as well as decentralised faculties and programmes about what students expect and how to more effectively interact with prospective students.   CRM and campaign management was implemented across the organization and integrated; all prospective student touchpoints (digital and non-digital) were integrated in CRM in order to monitor, follow up and nurture prospective international students from the first point of contact  to successful study. Content Management was adjusted accordingly to meet the specific needs of the prospective student in the different stages of their journey.

The results of this programme have been very promising and include a large increase in international master students; increased (prospective) student satisfaction; and an improved application process.